Minutes, July 22, 2013

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1. Attendance.  7:00 PM

Fred Cammann, Jenice Delano, Shira Kalish, Bonnie Lowe, Norm Lowe, Jeffrey Mansfield, Carey Millard, Weezie Quimby, Alejandro Saralegui,

Guests: Lee Foster, Christine Scalera, Phyllis Davis, Paul Brennan, David Betts, Erin McKinley, Dawn Haight, John, v.H. Halsey, John Halsey, Mr. Glinka

2. Approval of June 24, 2013 Minutes

Approved

3. John v. H. Halsey, President of the Peconic Land Trust

The PLT and its mission.

John v. H.  Halsey

Discussed the history of the Peconic Land Trust that was established 30 years ago to protect farmland and promote farming. Protected farmland is now over $100,000/acre. The question he posed to the group is “Do we want farming to continue on the Southfork? And most probably the Northfork in the future?”

Conserving working farms, not just the resource but the actual farming. After all of these years the problems still exist.  The PLC studies other areas with similar issuesto see what is going on in other parts of the country. Also the PLC buys and sells development rights as they see fit and within the state laws that they are governed by

Dick Bruce: Do you have an inventory of land that might be coming onto the market? What if they lease to a farmer?

J. v.H. H. Stated that yes they do have an inventory and at times do lease land to farmers. He went on to say that Pike’s is a good example of how they have worked in the past. The PLT looked to other communities to see how they could keep the Pikes on the Hopping property and they did it by adding more land restrictions that kept the price of the land down, so that it could continue as affordable farmland.

Shira Kalish: Why are Ag. open spaces closed off with hedges?

J. v.H. H.  Originally no one really anticipated that anyone other than a farmer would want to buy those lands or that the scenic value wouldn’t be appreciated. Newer rules are more restrictive and allow for the protected Ag lands to be seen from the road.

John Halsey: We enclosed our farm for a variety of reasons, including deer protection. We still look at acreage to buy but wouldn’t purchase land that can’t be deer fenced. It’s estimated that a third of the crop is lost to deer on acreage that isn’t deer fenced.

Paul Brennan: How many acres would we need to feed the East End?

J. v.H. H.  More than we have now.

Paul Brennan:  Why don’t farmers reinvest their savings or development rights?

Lee Foster: We do but oftentimes it is just too expensive.

Jenice: How much is an Ag reserve acre?

John Halsey: In ‘82 it was $3,500 for Ag reserve. Now it has lots of variables.

Leasing is fine if there is no other option, but it’s difficult to work on less than a 5-year plan. With an annual lease it’s hard to make the investment to improve the soil and plant crops.

Shira Kalish: The Toppings sold 19 acres in the center of Bridgehampton, was the town in play?

J. v.H. H. : Yes,  but ultimately not able to compete with the people who bought the property.

Jenice Delano: Irrigation and fencing are very expensive for farmers, is there a way to help farmers with those types of expenses?

J. v.H. H. : Not really, occasionally there are grants that can be applied for though.

Norm Lowe: What is the biggest threat to keeping the PLT going?

J. v.H. H. : Making it easy to keep the land affordable to farmers.

4.      Old Business (updates from last meetings)

a. Sustainability

Christine, I’ve continued to work on it and am trying to get my changes on the the website.

No vote was taken.

b. Library Crosswalk and Traffic Problems

Carey Millard: The State will not change or address the crosswalk.

Kelly Harris would like anyone to send documentation of their problems with the crosswalk to her so that she can forward the comments to the State.

Phyllis Davis: Suggested writing the Southampton Press.

Carey Millard: Kelly and I will work on this.

5.      New Business

a. Proliferation of signs through town

Christine Scalera: Mark Vasekas is the contact at the building department to look into this.

b. Car Repair Business on Bridge Sagg Turnpike

4 or 5 cars in a car repair shop is it legal or illegal?

Christine Scalera: The town is looking into it.

c.  Planning Department

1) A proposal for two houses on one lot on Hildreth Avenue opposite Bullhead development.  It will be discussed at a public hearing on Thursday July 25th at 7PM.

No decision/resolution was reached as the property can be legally subdivied into 2 lots. There was some concern that the houses would be out of character with the neighborhood.

2) Loaves and Fishes and the         Bridgehampton Inn

Anna Pump’s property will have a major addition for a total 10,000 sq. ft.  including a home furnishings shop and 5 more bedrooms.

No decision/resolution was reached

Phyllis Davis suggested that we take more votes on these issues as they come up so that the CAC has its opinion on record.

6.       Adjournment 8:30 pm

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